Blakeney NNR future in question

Antony Kelly's photo of part of the damaged sea defence bank

Antony Kelly’s photo of part of the damaged sea defence bank after the December 2013 tidal flood

Those of you who have visited the National Trusts Blakeney National Nature Reserve on the North Norfolk coast will realise how precious it is (or perhaps now ‘was’) as a wildlife and faunalfauna The animals characteristic of a region, period, or special environment habitat.

Sadly the severe North Sea tidal surge of Thursday 5th December caused grave damage by destroying several sections of the sand and gravel flood defence banks, this allowing saline inundation to invade and contaminate the freshwater marshes wildlife habitat, causing it now to be closed to public access until April. As well as the species this means loss of the coastal path and a severe loss in the main income from visitors, so will impact the income upon which the local inhabitants are so dependent.

With the cut in their budget the Environment Agency are now having to consider whether to abandon the marshes and allow the whole area to become saltmarsh and sea or to reinstate the protection. The cost claimed for the restructure of the protective bank has been placed as £1 million, which appears to be an extortionate sum that could be claimed as being excessive and unaffordable, so giving an excuse to reinstate the previous protection. The work required merely consists of rebuilding the sand and gravel mound at the rupture points, probably taking one man with a JCB no more than a week to complete.

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